What a great weekend. Lots of Mustangs, lots of Mustang owners and 3 Mustang Clubs. We left McDonalds at I-10 and Palo Verde at 1:00 PM with 33 Mustangs headed to Tombstone. The date was January 24, 1890. The cruise took us back to that date with some history to read along the drive. Most of the mining in the Tombstone area was supported by small communities along the San Pedro River which do not exist today. By the time we arrived in Tombstone everyone knew a little more history about the area.
We have been working with the City of Tombstone and one of their Councilman, Armando Villa. He was a big help and very supportive. We had arranged for a permit to block 2 blocks of 5th St. in the heart of town. Armando was there to help everyone park. Once parked everyone emerged from their Mustangs in their western finery…many with side arms and BIG hats. All the guys (and many of the ladies) wore red sashes identifying the 3 Mustang Clubs were in town and all the store owners knew who we were and many gave discounts in the stores and of course …..bars.
Within the driving instructions was a Walking Rallye which required participants to walk the streets and match pictures of storefront doors and name the 8 businesses. This kept everyone busy while they were shopping and drinking Sarsaparilla. At 5:00 PM, we were asked to go to the opening ceremonies for “Tombstone at Twilight”. The evening started with the National Anthem and introductions. All 3 clubs were highlighted and SAMC was credited for setting up the car show and making arrangements for the weekend. At 5:30 we were to be at the Longhorn Restaurant for dinner. There were 75 for dinner and we had a room of our own. Trying to serve 75 at the same time is very difficult and we would say they did a good job and the food was very good.
Just before the dinner we announced the results of the “Walking Rallye”. We had several who got all the photo ID’s correct so we had contest to break the tie. These people had to come forward and the contest started. There were several questions relating to Mustangs or Tombstone history. After a few minutes we had 3 winners. Third place was Mike Champlin winning a roll of genuine John Wayne toilet paper. Ken Keppler was second winning a stuffed Mustang. And the big winner was Taylor McDanel winning a “beautiful” statue of a Tombstone Cowboy. Congratulations to our winners and everyone else who had fun doing the Rallye. After all, this is SAMC’s oldest event, Rallye Del ano Nuevo.
After the awards, Dave Carroll introduced our club founder, Bill Laird. 50 years ago, Bill started SAMC. Bill and Sandy came over from California, rented a Mustang so they could enjoy the “Rallye” once again. Bill was in car sales at Holmes Tuttle Ford starting in 1963. By 1964 ½ when the Mustang came out he got together with some interested people and they formed SAMC. Sometime later, Ford selected Bill to work in the Southwest Region of the National Council of Mustang Clubs to assist Ford dealers establish clubs in their areas. By 1967-69, there were clubs all over the country and probably the most in the Southwestern Region, small towns or big cities. Bill helped start this enthusiasm and SAMC is very proud to be his first club. We now include Bill in all of our club Updates and club information because he is still very interested in what we are doing.
After eating, we all mounted up and drove to the Tombstone Grand Hotel north of town. We had worked with Deb Olson at the hotel and we want to thank her for allowing us to go beyond our contracted rooms. I think we ended up with over 20 rooms. They also prepared the normal breakfast area for us to watch the movie “Tombstone” and popped popcorn for all of us that night. A big thanks to Deb and her staff for a great night stay and good breakfast the next morning.
Gloria and I would like to thank everyone in our club for participating as well our friends at the Desert Sky Mustangs from Casa Gande and Cochise Mustang from Sierra Vista. We made a BIG impact in Tombstone and I think we all had a good time as we went back to 1890 in Tombstone.
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